Basing doctrine on experience is an awful habit. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that Scripture is the source for doctrine. Most churches include “the Bible is the sole authority for life and practice” in their doctrinal statements.
It sounds nice, but we don’t act like it’s true. Prayer is one subject that causes us to chuck the Bible and go with our experience.
We’ve dismissed Jesus’ words about moving mountains. We’ve thrown out John’s statement that we will have the requests we make to God (1 John 5:15). And Paul was completely out of his mind when he said God can do above what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
We don’t agree with any of these guys because God has never done any of this for us! So instead of believing prayer has power we conclude that it doesn’t really matter. God doesn’t do anything with it anyway.
It’s all God’s plan, we sit and wait and see what He does and be thankful or whatever. Thankfulness is the opposite of whining and complaining. Which do we hear more of? That’s because we don’t believe what the Bible says about prayer.
If we believed prayer did things we would have peace, lack of worry, our minds and hearts would be guarded, there would be no complaining, and so forth. These traits are linked with the proper understanding of prayer.
It’s obvious we don’t understand prayer because all the things we’re not supposed to have (ingratitude, worry, complaining, etc) we certainly have.
There are several reasons why we conclude prayer doesn’t work
1) It doesn’t work for everyone, only those with the intercession of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and those who are listening to God (living by faith) are promised replies.
2) Our idea of answers are not God’s
3) We’re asking amiss, making requests from the flesh
4) We don’t know the Word well enough to know what to ask for nor how God answers prayers.
5) We generally only pray when we get stuck and we’ve dug ourselves in deep. God is not an emergency rescue system; prayer is an ongoing life principle.
Prayer is beautiful. It’s one of the most vital links we have with the Eternal. Satan knows how powerful it is, that’s why he’s skewed our view of it so much. Go to the Word, make your requests known to God and prove the acceptable will of God.